Anti-China MEPs pulling stunt with report on upgrading EU-Taiwan ties
Published: Sep 02, 2021 08:09 PM
The European Union flags in front of EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Xinhua

The European Union flags in front of EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium. Photo: Xinhua

The European Parliament is increasingly playing a negative role in relations with China and the future development of the European Union. The latest example is that a group of MEPs from the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs, playing like clowns, had provoked China over the Taiwan question with a report calling for upgrading EU relations with the island of Taiwan. 

On Wednesday, a report that blatantly advocates an elevation in the so-called EU-Taiwan relations, renaming the bloc's trade office in the island "the European Economic and Trade Office" to "the European Union Office in Taiwan," as well as Taiwan island's full participation as an observer in international bodies, was adopted at the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs with 60 of the 70 members present voting in favor. 

The Chinese Mission to the European Union later the same day expressed strong opposition to the report. A mission spokesperson said on Thursday the moves suggested in the report "exceed far beyond the scope of normal nonofficial economic and trade cooperation and cultural exchanges between the EU, its member states and Taiwan, constitute serious violations of the one-China principle and undercut mutual trust and cooperation between China and the EU."

It's fair to say the European Parliament provides a stage for various political vices and attempts at garnering attention. The composition of MEPs is complicated, with many having inadequate political literacy and narrow-minded vision. At the parliament, those anti-China MEPs just attempt to achieve the loudest voice and biggest impact without considering responsibilities and consequences. Their China provocations over the Taiwan question have clearly exposed their ignorance of international politics.   With those anti-China MEPs, the European Parliament has played a destructive role in China-Europe relations. It voted to freeze the ratification of the EU-China investment deal in May, hindering the normal process of the deal. Regarding the Taiwan questions, it passed several pro-Taiwan  resolutions or reports this year. China is increasingly gaining the dominant position in the China-Europe bilateral relationship, which has led to distortions in the mentality of some European politicians and MEPs. In order to gain more political bargaining chips in relations with China, they do not hesitate to make an issue of the Taiwan island.  

The newly adopted report supports Taiwan island's full participation as an observer in international bodies. It also expresses deep concern over the Chinese mainland's military pressure against the island, urging the EU "to do more to address these tensions and to protect Taiwan's democracy and the island's status as an important EU partner." MEP Charlie Weimers, the rapporteur of the report, tweeted on Thursday that EU "must withstand Chinese pressure." The report is a publicity stunt for MEPs like Weimers. Regardless of the bloc's interests, they attempted to draw more attention by leading the EU into a dead end of confronting China over the Taiwan question. "The Taiwan question concerns China's core interests. If the EU dares to cross the bottom line, relations between China and the bloc will surely plummet to the lowest ebb. The first to bear the brunt will be the business circle of Europe," said Gao Jian, director of the Center for British Studies, Shanghai International Studies University.

Those anti-China European politicians said the EU must withstand pressure from the Chinese mainland to support the island of Taiwan. In reality, the EU has neither the audacity nor capacity to give the island substantive support and it cannot afford crossing the line of the Taiwan question. In contrast to the hostile stance toward China by some European politicians, China has maintained a cooperative attitude toward China-EU relations. Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in a phone conversation with Diplomatic Counselor to French President Emmanuel Bonne on Wednesday that China is happy to see the EU grow stronger and maintains that China and the EU are partners rather than rivals. 

"In the future, especially in the post-Merkel era, some European politicians and MEPs will further play the 'Taiwan card' and the European Parliament may continue its provocative moves. They overestimate themselves," Gao said.